Outraged by secretly taped anti-Trump comments attributed to CNN President Jeff Zucker and others at the cable network, President Trump’s campaign is vowing to sue the company for “a substantial payment of damages.”
In a four-page letter to CNN, Zucker, and Executive Vice President David Vigilante, Trump attorney Charles J. Harder cited years of anti-Trump bias at the network and claimed the cable giant has broken its promise of “excellence in journalism.”
Listing several examples from the just-released Project Veritas videotapes of CNN insiders describing Zucker’s demand for “impeachment above all else,” Harder wrote that they “are merely the tip of the iceberg of the evidence my clients have accumulated over recent years.”
He added, “Never in the history of this country has a President been the subject of such a sustained barrage of unfair, unfounded, unethical and unlawful attacks by so-called ‘mainstream’ news, as the current situation.”
Harder represents both Trump and the campaign. The letter was provided exclusively to Secrets and is shown in full below.
CNN spokesman Matt Dornic said, “This is nothing more than a desperate PR stunt and doesn’t merit a response.”
While media is typically protected by the First Amendment, Harder said the bias he cited at CNN was a violation of the Lanham Act “by constituting misrepresentations to the public, to your advertisers, and to others” to distribute “truly fair and balanced” news.
“Accordingly, my clients intend to file legal action against you, to seek compensatory damages, treble damages, punitive damages, injunctive relief, reimbursement of legal costs, and all other available legal and equitable remedies, to the maximum extent permitted by law,” said the letter.
What’s more, he suggested that even if the campaign and CNN come to an agreement, he would seek money as part of that deal.
“Please contact the undersigned to discuss an appropriate resolution of this matter, which would include a substantial payment of damages, as well as all other appropriate measures that are necessary to fully address the magnitude of the situation,” wrote Harder in the letter sent by overnight mail and email on Wednesday.
Trump has long been at war with CNN and other media he dubs “fake news.” CNN’s White House reporter, Jim Acosta, and Trump have tussled publicly, and Acosta wrote a book sharply critical of the president titled The Enemy of the People.
In three new, secretly taped videos, Project Veritas said they show CNN insiders detailing Zucker’s anti-Trump views.
Those comments, wrote Harder, show that CNN is violating journalism ethics.
“Recently released video footage of individuals alleged to be your employees indicates that your reporting relating to President Trump is contrary to your own mission and the aforementioned Code of Ethics. Your own employees appear to state that CNN is focused on trying to ‘take down President Trump,’ driven by a ‘personal vendetta’ that Mr. Zucker purportedly has against him, rather than reporting the news in an objective manner,” wrote Harder.